Looking for a Tube Amp

Discussion in 'Amps & Cabs' started by AtomSG, Jun 7, 2009.

  1. AtomSG

    AtomSG New Member

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    Hey all,

    I've been lurking here for a while but wanted to try and get the opinion now from some of you who know more about amps then I (probably not hard to do).

    I'm looking to get a new (or used, don't matter) tube amp to compliment my SG g-400 in faded cherry, such a pretty thing. I'm hoping to come in around $500, that's slightly flexible if the amp is really worthwhile. It's mostly going to be used for home use and jam sessions with friends for the time being. We might be picking up a drummer too so I suppose it needs to have at least a little oomph. But again, this is flexible as the guy might back out of the drums. I was looking at a Fender Super Champ but really don't know much about them. What should I be looking for. I'm guess I'm looking for a good all around amp. I play mostly classic rock and dip into some metal/hard rock and modern stuff to boot. I may need to pick up some pedals, so any input there may be nice also.

    I was also looking at the Vox Valvetronix line. It seems to have a really good bang for the buck and be getting some good reviews from others on this forum and elsewhere.
     
  2. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    You should be happy with any of those choices. I used to like Fender, but am no expert on the newer models.

    I also suggest being open to models of the Vintage club all-tube series made by oft-maligned Crate. You can find some sweet amps for cheap if you are lucky. Don't base opinions on the transistor Crate practice amps - that Vintage Club line had a few variations and some were quite nice amps sort of Vox-like with EL-84's.

    There seem to be a number of new tube amps in every Musician's Friend or Zzounds or whatever catalog. It seems now the problem is too many choices!

    For the use you suggest I'd go with something in the 15/20 to 50 watt range, depending on if your basic sound is more on the distorted or on the clean side. The lower wattage amps are better if you like a bit of crunch - you can open it up and get the tubes humming, a 50 watt amp would let you have more headroom and a cleaner tone at the same volume.

    If you ever play anywhere bigger just mike the amp.
     
  3. oldrockfan

    oldrockfan Well-Known Member

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    For a tube amp in the 500 range that can be used for rock and ability to do the heavier stuff, I'd go with a used marshall DSL. FOr 500 you can get a used DSL401 which is a pretty solid performer. I also like mesa amps and you can find used mesa combos for that price range. For new tube amps under $500, you usually have to either accept a hybrid tube amp or go with a lower wattage chinese made all tube amp; Crate, Peavy, vox, and others.
     
  4. bradsure

    bradsure Active Member

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  5. uyasgali

    uyasgali Member

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    The best thing you can do is spend some time playing through them at a music store or someone's house. You stand less of a chance of being disapointed that way.

    Good luck
     
  6. Zeppelin Rules

    Zeppelin Rules Active Member

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    [quote author=oldrockfan link=topic=19325.msg233862#msg233862 date=1244487644]
    For a tube amp in the 500 range that can be used for rock and ability to do the heavier stuff, I'd go with a used marshall DSL. FOr 500 you can get a used DSL401 which is a pretty solid performer. I also like mesa amps and you can find used mesa combos for that price range. For new tube amps under $500, you usually have to either accept a hybrid tube amp or go with a lower wattage chinese made all tube amp; Crate, Peavy, vox, and others.
    [/quote]

    I second the DSL 401 bit. In retrospect I wish I had got mine used since I paid $1300 Canadian for it, but its been a good amp. Don't worry about it in a live setting either, I use it all the time, even unmic'd its plenty loud.

    You can also get everything from clean to brootal metal from it. To get an idea, check out the stuff in my sig, all the lead guitar tracks, and the cleaner rhythm tracks are the DSL, and heres a vid of me playing Lamb of God with it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8_yptaf3KE
     
  7. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    [quote author=oldrockfan link=topic=19325.msg233862#msg233862 date=1244487644]
    For new tube amps under $500, you usually have to either accept a hybrid tube amp or go with a lower wattage chinese made all tube amp; Crate, Peavy, vox, and others.
    [/quote]

    Although the Crate series I referred to was made in USA.
     
  8. revelroy

    revelroy Member

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    peavey classic 30 [el84 powered] is american made, and a reasonable amp w/ alot of bang for the buck. just not very good for the 'metal' sort of stuff. you can get one off e-bay fror around 300 or so and you'll have money left to buy a whole bunch of pedals!
     
  9. guitarweasel

    guitarweasel Well-Known Member

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    These Marshall JTM series are really overlooked amps Mine is a JTM 30 2x10, Clean/Dirty channel switching with reverb and 5881 Power section. These things can scream! and be had cheap too. :)

    [​IMG]
     
  10. revelroy

    revelroy Member

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    weas is right, but they aint that cheap when you can find one!
     
  11. guitarweasel

    guitarweasel Well-Known Member

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    [quote author=revelroy link=topic=19325.msg233882#msg233882 date=1244510353]
    weas is right, but they aint that cheap when you can find one!
    [/quote]

    Really? I paid $200.00 for that one at a music store no less. :-\
     
  12. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    [quote author=guitarweasel link=topic=19325.msg233879#msg233879 date=1244507357]
    These Marshall JTM series are really overlooked amps Mine is a JTM 30 2x10, Clean/Dirty channel switching with reverb and 5881 Power section. These things can scream! and be had cheap too. :)
    [/quote]

    another cool amp....a very convenient sized Marshall!

    I've never owned Marshalls, but it ain't because of the sound, they are very good amps.
     
  13. revelroy

    revelroy Member

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    when I've done searches on e-bay for them they were going for double that! the only thing is that they lack the tube rectifier, which seems to add a bit more 'character' to the sound..
     
  14. guitarweasel

    guitarweasel Well-Known Member

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    [quote author=revelroy link=topic=19325.msg233904#msg233904 date=1244544265]
    when I've done searches on e-bay for them they were going for double that! the only thing is that they lack the tube rectifier, which seems to add a bit more 'character' to the sound..
    [/quote]

    I don't think Marshall had that in mind when they introduced the JTM's, it was was more as an alternative to the bigger amps they they were making and as a marketing tool for them, that said, if you look around ( and not just ebay) you can score a 30 or 60 watt for a bargain compared to some of the new crap they're making. Just my observation. :dontknow:
     
  15. revelroy

    revelroy Member

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    yeah, when marshall first started, and they copied the bassman, they still had the rectifier. they dropped it afterwards..
     
  16. football27

    football27 Member

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    :)You can't go wrong with a super champ xd. I bought one a few months ago and it definitely rocks. The settings are all easy to use to dial up pretty much any sound. The stock speaker is weak so I replaced it with a Jensen C 10 R. It sounds all that much better. Try it out I believe you will enjoy it.
     
  17. guitarweasel

    guitarweasel Well-Known Member

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    [quote author=revelroy link=topic=19325.msg233906#msg233906 date=1244546614]
    yeah, when marshall first started, and they copied the bassman, they still had the rectifier. they dropped it afterwards..
    [/quote]

    They still have it in the JTM 45 and Bluesbreaker.
     
  18. AtomSG

    AtomSG New Member

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    Thanks for all the input guys. It has been very helpful and I've been out around Columbus looking at some stores and trying to do some research online. I've been really looking into some of the Marshall lines that have been suggested but also at some of the Vox amps.

    Can someone explain the rectifier that has came up? This is a new concept for me. It looks like I need to get out there and play some to try and find one that really suits me.
     
  19. revelroy

    revelroy Member

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    yes Weas, you are correct. Having a tube rectified amp aint the be-all, end-all, but I do prefer the feel/sound of it.
     
  20. Voxman

    Voxman Moderator Staff Member

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    It adds sag to the notes .. metal dudes can't use sag as they need a quick responce to the attack to respond to the techniques of that style :)
     

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